General Contact Number: (530) 621-5567

Long Range Planning

General Plan Safety Element Update

El Dorado County is in the process of updating its Public Health, Safety, and Noise Element (Safety Element). The Safety Element is one of the seven mandatory elements of the El Dorado County General Plan. State law requires that the County update the Safety Element upon revision of the Housing Element, which it updated in August 2021. Updates to the Safety Element will meet the requirements of California Government Code Section 65302(g) as updated by Senate Bills 1241, 379, and 1035, and will be consistent with the recently updated Housing Element.

This webpage provides the most current information on the Safety Element update process. It will provide you with background information, documents, resources, and opportunities to be involved in the process and provide feedback on the Safety Element.  Sign up to receive Safety Element updates.

Public Survey

Please complete a public survey for the County’s Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA)! The purpose of this survey is to collect information from the public and stakeholders to better understand the climate vulnerabilities within the County as well as solicit input on the needs to best adapt to, mitigate, or reduce, the climate impacts before they occur.

 

The County is developing a Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) to support the County’s General Plan Safety Element update. The CVA will identify climate-related natural, human-caused, and public health hazards that the County is exposed to, as well as confirm how climate change would affect the hazards. The CVA will also describe how climate change and the affected hazards will further impact the County’s socially vulnerable populations, property, critical assets and infrastructure, natural resources, and economic assets. Adaptation framework and strategies will then be developed to address the potential climate-related hazard impacts.

 

The survey should take less than 8 minutes to complete. The feedback will be shared with the Safety Element Advisory Committee to inform the planning process. Please complete this survey by January 23, 2023. Thank you for your participation!


Get Involved!

Do you want to be involved during the Safety Element Update process? Please sign up to receive Safety Element updates.  You can also check back here for Safety Element updates, meeting announcements, documents, and resources. For additional information, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab below. 

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact:

Thea Graybill
Senior Planner, Long Range Planning
County of El Dorado Planning and Building Department
thea.graybill@edcgov.us  
(530) 573-7908



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

​What is a Safety Element?

The El Dorado County Public Health, Safety, and Noise Element (Safety Element) identifies potential health and safety concerns in the unincorporated areas of El Dorado County and lays out goals and policies to protect the community. As a required element of the General Plan, the Safety Element provides a long-term framework on how El Dorado County will grow and keep communities and their assets safe through hazard identification, goals and policies, and implementation programs focused on hazard risk reduction and avoidance.

When did the County last adopt and/or amend the Safety Element?

The Safety Element was adopted in July 2004 and last amended in August 2019.

What are the goals of the Safety Element?

According to the State of California General Plan Guidelines, the goal of the Safety Element is "to reduce the potential short and long-term risk of death, injuries, property damage, and economic and social dislocation resulting from fires, floods, droughts, earthquakes, landslides, climate change, and other hazards." Safety Elements contain hazard profiles and mapping that identify fire hazard severity zones (FHSZs), floodplains, and fault zones that help the County decide where to direct development and how to protect the community in the event there is a hazard-related emergency, such as a wildfire or flood.

What issues are addressed in the Safety Element?

California Government Code §65302(g) requires that Safety Elements contain hazard information, mapping, and goals and policies to protect communities from seismically induced surface rupture, ground shaking, and ground failure; tsunami, seiche, and dam failure; slope instability leading to mudslides and landslides; subsidence; liquefaction; other seismic hazards; flooding; wildland and urban fires; and climate change. Safety Elements must also include flexible strategies to adapt to climate change and consider evacuation route planning, peak load water supply, and military installations.

The current General Plan Health, Safety and Noise Element covers the hazards listed below:

  • Acceptable Noise Levels
  • Air Quality Maintenance
  • Avalanche
  • Aviation-Related Hazards
  • Dam Incidents
  • Fire Hazards
  • Flooding
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Highway Safety
  • Landslide and Rock Fall
  • Seismic and Geologic Hazards
  • Public Health

Why is El Dorado County updating the Safety Element?

State law requires that jurisdictions regularly update the Safety Element upon revision of the Housing Element, which El Dorado County updated on August 31, 2021. Recent changes to State law require that cities and counties review their Safety Elements when their Housing Elements or their Local Hazard Mitigation Plans (LHMPs) are updated, at least once every eight years, and make updates to include new information and to comply with statutory changes outlined in California Government Code §65302(g) as updated by Senate Bills (SB) 1241, 379, and 1035. The update will address fire risk in state responsibility areas (SRAs) and land classified as very high FHSZs in SRAs (defined in §51177; SB 1241). The County will also ensure the Safety Element addresses climate change hazards, includes a climate vulnerability assessment (CVA), and incorporates climate adaptation and resiliency strategies (SB 379) that complement the LHMP (Assembly Bill [AB] 2140). This recent legislation is illustrated below.

SB 379Requires the inclusion of a CVA and integration of adaptation strategies in the Safety Element and encourages a climate change discussion in the LHMP. A CVA must be completed if the current LHMP does not meet the requirements of Government Code §65302(g)(4) (2015).
SB 1035SB 1035 addresses climate adaptation strategies in Safety Element and requires an update of climate data at least every 8 years (2018).

AB 747

SB 99

Requires a Safety Element to identify evacuation routes and evaluate their capacity, safety, and viability under a range of emergency scenarios. Requirements are in Government Code §65302.15 related to land use (2019). SB 99 requires a Safety Element to identify residential developments in hazard areas that do not have at least two emergency evacuation routes (2019).
SB 1241Requires a Safety Element to address wildfire risks in SRAs and very high FHSZs pursuant to Government Code §65302(g)(3), develop policies to mitigate wildfire risk, and include review by the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (2012).
SB 1000Requires inclusion of environmental justice and equity goals and policies in the Safety Element – "Climate Equity". It includes the identification of Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) and policies to reduce unique health risks, promote public engagement, and prioritize improvements that address the needs of DACs pursuant to Government Code §65040.12(e) (2016).
AB 2140Links LHMPs and Safety Elements by encouraging the incorporation by reference of LHMPs into Safety Elements and by tying State funding eligibility to the adoption of LHMPs into the Safety Element (2006).

 

The current Safety Element does not address all these recent statutory requirements. Therefore, the County plans to modernize the Safety Element and bring it into compliance with State law.

What is a Climate Vulnerability Assessment?

A CVA identifies the risks that climate change poses to the County and the geographic areas at risk from climate change impacts following the guidance found within SB 379 (described above) and other relevant vulnerability assessment tools and guides. The CVA will identify how the County is vulnerable to wildfire, flooding, landslides, increased and earlier water runoff, reduced snowpack levels, and other relevant climate-related hazards. The CVA will also help inform the development of new and revised goals and policies in the Safety Element that respond to these climate changes consistent with the requirements in Government Code §65302(g)(4).

How is the Safety Element related to a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP)?

The Safety Element functions as an intermediary between the General Plan and the LHMP. It must be consistent with other General Plan elements and with the LHMP, given the LHMP provides a comprehensive analysis of natural and human-caused hazards and vulnerability of the population and critical assets in the County and focuses on the development of a range of mitigation projects to reduce risk. The LHMP also keeps the County eligible to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation assistance grant funding. The difference between the two planning documents is the LHMP provides more detail and technical information about specific hazards that are linked to mitigation actions, whereas policies in the Safety Element are often broader and longer-term strategies than those in a LHMP. The County is also legally required by the State to have a Safety Element in its General Plan, whereas the other plans are separate documents that have information and policies that supplement the Safety Element but are not required by the State. 


Project Timeline

The tentative project schedule is outlined below, including approximate dates for future planning events and the availability of key documents.  The project schedule will be updated as new information becomes available. 

Next Steps

Estimated Dates

Project initiation Spring 2022
Public and Stakeholder outreach and workshopsFall/Winter 2022
Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors Workshops
Fall 2022
Prepare Draft Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) ReportFall 2022
Prepare Final CVA ReportWinter 2022/2023
Prepare Draft Safety ElementSpring 2023
CA Board of Forestry and Fire Protection reviewSummer 2023
California Geological Survey review​Summer 2023
Prepare Final Safety ElementFall 2023
Final Planning Commission HearingTBD
Final Board of Supervisors Adoption Hearing​TBD


Documents and Resources

​Documents

Existing Public Health, Safety and Noise Element (https://www.edcgov.us/Government/planning/pages/adopted_general_plan.aspx)

2021 Housing Element Update (https://www.edcgov.us/Government/longrangeplanning/LandUse/Pages/General-Plan-Housing-Element---2021.aspx)

2018 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (https://www.edcgov.us/Government/sheriff/Documents/ElDoradoCounty_LHMP.pdf)

2015 Tahoe Basin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) (http://www.tahoelivingwithfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/LakeTahoeBasinCommunityWildfireProtectionPlan_ReducedQuality.pdf)

El Dorado County Community Wildfire Protection Plan (https://www.edcfiresafe.org/cwpp/cwpp/)

2020 Integrated Vulnerability Assessment of Climate Change in the Lake Tahoe Basin (https://tahoe.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/257/2020/04/Integrated-Vulnerability-Assessment-of-Climate-Change-in-the-Lake-Tahoe-Basin_2020.pdf)

Additional Resources​

Cal-Adapt Tool (https://cal-adapt.org/)

Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program (ICARP) (https://opr.ca.gov/planning/icarp/)

California Adaptation Planning Guide (https://resilientca.org/apg/)

General Plan Guidelines and Technical Advisories (https://opr.ca.gov/planning/general-plan/guidelines.html


Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission Meetings

Information Coming Soon...

Additional Project Information

Any additional information or public notices will be posted here as needed.